*June 1st 12:15AM*
I’m HIV positive.
I found out five days ago.
On my birthday
Holy shit. I thought I knew you
This is too big for me
If you need anyone to talk to let me know.
Hey, I know that it doesn’t feel like it’s okay now
but it will be I’m poz too
and I know for a fact that
I’m poz too
your Leather Bar has plenty of resource pamphlets
I’m poz too
for your area.
We all love you. I think I might love you
Is that weird?
I still love you, boy, and I think you’re incredibly brave. I’m not going anywhere.
I fucking mean it
I agree with the leather daddy.
And the guy in the collar.
I thought I knew you
But so what if I didn’t?
You are not mine to know
Dude. Shit. How did you get AIDS?
Isn’t that a fag, thing?
He has HIV not AIDS. And no it is not a ‘fag’ thing,
I will fuck you up
Besides, how he got it isn’t any of our business.
I fucking mean it
No. I’m his mother. This is my business. This is my son
u just got OWNED, fake ass biker.
You look just like my dad
I caught him
With a man
how could you do this to me?
I am logged into your sister’s account right now
and what I am reading is appalling.
flesh of my flesh
You embarrass me
I did not raise you to behave like this.
I did not raise you to put yourself in a position
blood of my blood,
you infect me
with ‘friends’ perverts
that could negatively affect your career.
Employers could SEE this.
is with people wearing bondage masks
in the shapes of dogs
And that’s not even getting into your announcement.
Did you think that’s wise?
You will be denied insurance.
My son is…
You will be denied love
My son is…
Delete this and call me now.
Mom, I’m scared.
I decided that owning my status is more important
than owning dollars.
And insurance denial
is an ADA violation. I think
They can’t discriminate based off of that.
My friends are here
you refuse to be
please see that
I love you
Do not do this here.
But be a man I can accept
You need to get on treatment immediately.
You can’t risk infecting someone else.
I know everyone is liking this, but I mean I’m not gay
isn’t this kind of harsh?
He got it from irresponsible sex
I rode him, bare
skin to sweat to cum to sky to
I am within my rights to be
harsh. He’s a threat I miss him
as long as he’s sexually active.
I hate him
is this true?!
on tainted blood
I know now
No hands in the dark
and no. spread me open
Don’t talk about “how I got it” I was…they forced…
I wish I could tell
Maybe you wouldn’t have left me
As much as I hate to say it,
and I do, I fucking mean it
That guy has a point.
You need to take care of your health, boy.
I’ll be willing to help however you need me to.
I once saw a wave
Sweep over ’85
Okay. I’ve been to the health clinic
but I may need rides to the doctor.
I’ll PM you. Thank you.
It’s a heavy thing to realize
being loved is being lucky
The responsibility hurts
So your a fag now, is that what you’re saying? my blood cries for yours
If that’s what you’re going to take from this then, yes. What were we once
to each other?
Son I am so disappointed in you right now.
There are pictures of you in chains
with no clothes on.
The civil rights movement did not happen
so you could do this.
You hang around bad company, so
What did you expect?
For a reason.
you look like Jesus
I am afraid to pray
Hey I know it’s not really my place,
but fuck your mother.
we were all thinking it
Wait that sounds bad…
I will make you smile
I have said many things I regret
And fucked even more
But even at the end
Pleasure was not a lie.
I did not regret my body.
Don’t make your pulse a curse.
People still deny that my words
are a part of history.
They think I lost my mind.
But even at the end,
My mind was more than myth.
Don’t let it break your will.
I thought that love was not supposed to hurt
So I ran, darkening my own mirror.
But even at the end.
What else is there but love?
Don’t be me
Let it flagellate your heart. Feel.
What else is there?
Hey bro. It’s me. Not mom. Sorry about that. I booted her off.
Listen: I think this is the bravest thing I’ve ever seen anyone do and I’m proud to
call you my brother. I love you so much and will support you in whatever you
decide to do. After all you’re still you you know? You’re still the annoying asshole
that breaks my video games. I love you to bits. Thank god we don’t live together
If you want to talk about it, just know I’m here. I know things are kinda FUBAR
with the mom-ster at the moment and I know it doesn’t excuse anything but you
DID just announce this without calling any of us. Kinda cold. Still: That doesn’t
matter. I forgive you. You were probably scared and you’re right to be: this is
scary! But I can tell you that this isn’t the end of the world. You’ve got so much
life to live and so much to teach. And if peeps can’t see how exceptional you are,
then take it as a challenge. Be exceptional until they notice.
I love you.
I love you too.
Maxton Young-Jones is a recipient of The Claeyssens Prize for Playwrighting from the George Washington University and has written several theatrical works, the most recent of which, Raceplay, (co-authored with Nicole Cunninigham), was awarded a grant from Arena Stage and was a part of their creations of new works centered around the Civil War, Healing Wars. He lives in Washington, DC.
This poem is not previously published. In fact, it is Maxton’s first poetry publication and an occasion of great pride for The HIV Here & Now Project.